Fruit-forward mead for wine lovers: ‘It’s just a matter of how and when’

By Beth Newhart contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beacon thinks the mead industry is shaping up a lot like the craft beer industry did, and is showing all of the same developmental signs.
Beacon thinks the mead industry is shaping up a lot like the craft beer industry did, and is showing all of the same developmental signs.

Related tags: mead, Alcohol, Craft beer, craft beverages, Wine

A craft meadery from Long Island wants to break mead out of home brewing and into the mainstream, leveraging fruit flavors over honey.

On the North Fork of Long Island, long time friends Justin Feldstein and Chris Parles founded Beacon Meadery around two years ago. Parles found mead after working in craft beer, and realizing there was a home brewing scene for mead similar to beer.

He determined that most people are making mead from a beer perspective, and only a few were making it as more like wine. Parles and Feldstein saw the opportunity to widen the public’s exposure to mead made like wine.

Beacon Meadery launched its first product in May, and another two this fall. With Raspberry, Blueberry and Black Currant, Parles told BeverageDaily they chose to stick with fruit flavors that adhere to the wine aspect in terms of structure, tannins and acids.

Many of the mead makers that come from a beer background and choose to add fruit usually use a puree or concentrate, because that’s what works best with fermentation. But using raw materials like honey and whole fruits tend to be more challenging than traditional meads, Parles said.

Beacon wants to show people already familiar with mead what else it can do. Mead can range from a low ABV, carbonated and sweet, to a stronger, dry and still formula. Parles said this is occasionally a disadvantage for mead, because consumer recognition is low. If they try one mead, they think they understand the full category.

Whether sessionable or a slow sipper, Parles said existing wine drinkers should be able to find “something for them in the mead department that they recognize but is also new and interesting,”​ Parles said.

Mead is considered more of an enthusiast product, because making it is an expensive process, with ingredients like whole fruit and honey. Parles said Beacon’s audience is primarily into similar craft beverages, but recognition is growing.

“Even in the short time we’ve been doing this product, I’ve had to explain to fewer and fewer people what mead is,”​ Parles said.

He thinks the mead industry is shaping up a lot like the craft beer industry did, and is showing all of the same developmental signs. “It might not be quite as mainstream, but it’s definitely headed in that direction,”​ he said.

Beacon Meadery is currently self-distributing on Long Island and working its way to Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The meads can also be ordered on Beacon’s website in 375ml and 750ml sizes.

Related news

Related products

show more

Unlike Any Other Turmeric

Unlike Any Other Turmeric

Applied Food Sciences | 15-Jan-2020 | Technical / White Paper

As consumers are craving complex flavors, bright colors, and more transparent labels, Applied Food Sciences is bringing this golden-yellow spice to products...

CURCUSHINE™- Your Curcumin Solution for Beverages

CURCUSHINE™- Your Curcumin Solution for Beverages

Lipofoods, a Lubrizol Company | 18-Nov-2019 | Technical / White Paper

CURCUSHINE™ microcapsules is a source of microencapsulated curcumin specifically designed to enable its water solubility, comprising an ideal ingredient...

The Importance of Cascara Coffee Fruit

The Importance of Cascara Coffee Fruit

Applied Food Sciences | 06-Nov-2019 | Product Presentation

To be a pioneer in the coffee industry, it requires the pursuit of doing good. What if you could bring value back to the more than 20.5 million tons of...

Related suppliers


Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us


View more